No master pages in Xara Xtreme? Use repeated objects.


Xara Xtreme Pro is a vector illustration application similar to Adobe Illustrator. The last Illustrator version I really used was version 9. When it became CS, it’s too heavy on my AMD machine. It’s worst on my notebook back then… half an hour to open an illustration for a 2 meter bunting!

Which led me to Xara Xtreme. And boy… it’s fast! Not only it’s fast to render the drawings, it’s also fast to work with it. Transparency, shadows, and effects are just so easy to do and render instantly. Way faster, less clutter, and much better at advanced color gradients and blends. Even on the notebook.

On top of that, it supports multi-page illustrations. So now I don’t need both Illustrator and InDesign anymore for most of my needs. But something’s missing that just make it too far away from being true DTP: master pages or template pages.

Is it really missing? Not really. It’s just implemented differently, albeit with limitations.

It’s called “Repeat on all pages” which makes more sense to a beginner than “Master pages”. It’s also easier to use. Instead of having to open the master page like in InDesign and try to guess how it will affect one of the pages, you can just draw a repeating item on any page. Then, with the object selected, just press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+R or use the Arrange menu. So, you just draw it anywhere when you feel like it, and apply it to all pages.

This is also useful when you are editing the pages and somehow you see that one of the repeating element needs a nudge in one of the pages. Make the edit and press Shift+Alt+R or use the Arrange menu.

However, it’s not a complete replacement of master pages because it repeats on all pages, not just the pages you select. If you want to use different design templates on odd and even pages, no problem. View it in a spread and it will repeat for each spread instead.

But what if you want to have several design masters? You’ll have to use several files then… Still, I can’t find one thing crucial to creating large documents: page numbering – or any auto-increment stuff.

Ahhh… well, it’s still the best drawing, design, and layout application for me. Guess I’ll have to re-install InDesign if I ever need to do DTP for books.

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